Minnesota not on top ranking list for broadband availability according to NTIA

NTIA’s Report on Broadband Availability is out. They have tracked availability from June 2010 to June 2012. Here’s the quick answer…


Broadband at the basic speed combination of 3/768 is available to 98.18% of the population, and 94.39% of Americans can subscribe to services of at least 10 Mbps

I’d like to remove that 3/768 track, but the NTIA explains why they track such slow speeds…

NTIA begins its analysis at the combined advertised connection of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream, which is the closest combination of speeds for which NTIA collects data that would allow a consumer to “access a basic set of applications that include sending and receiving e-mail, downloading Web pages, photos and video, and using simple video conferencing.”

I think it’s also important to know their definition of available; it’s a little non-standard…

For the purposes of NTIA’s data collection, broadband is “available” if it can be deployed to a business or consumer within 7-10 business days and without an extraordinary commitment of resources. This definition is in contrast to “adoption,” which means that a consumer or business subscribes to or uses broadband at a particular location. The definition of broadband does not specifically include price, latency, bandwidth limitations, or other factors that may impact a user’s ability to purchase or use the service.

What about Minnesota?

As always I’m most concerned with how Minnesota stacks up in the report. They include a list of the top 15 States with Most Broadband Access at 10, 25, and 50 Mbps. Minnesota does not make any of those lists. I guess on a silver lining note, we don’t make the worst list either. Minnesota also got no mention on a recent Akamai report that track speed and adoption.

About a week ago, Connect Minnesota gave a sneak preview on Minnesota’s broadband availability. (Connect Minnesota provides data to NTIA for their report.)

Last October, our data showed that there was 61.57% access across the state at the 10 Mbps by 6 Mbps tier (and 81.97% at the 10 Mbps x 3 Mbps tier, fixed platform; factoring in mobile broadband, we had 87.18% availability at this speed tier).

As of April 2013, we see an improvement of nearly eight percent: April 2013 data showed that 69.19% of Minnesota households have access to broadband at a minimum of 10 Mbps download by 6 Mbps upload (and 87.0% at the 10 Mbps x 3 Mbps tier, fixed platform; factoring in mobile broadband, we have 97.28% availability at this speed tier).

It’s great (really great!) to see a 8 percentage growth – and hopefully that will put us on track to make the Top 15 list in the future but it doesn’t help us rank today.

Outside of the Minnesota perspective, there were a few other points I found interesting…

  • Almost 100% of urban residents have access to download speeds of at least 6 Mbps, but only 82% of rural communities can access these speeds. Almost 88% percent of urban residents have access to speeds of 25 Mbps. Only 41% of rural residents, less than half those in urban communities, have the same access. …
  • approximately 5% of the population lives in areas with basic wireless broadband service, but no wireline broadband service. …
  • The increase in wireline speeds is primarily a result of an increase in cable speeds, followed by a much smaller increase in fiber deployment.
This entry was posted in MN, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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